I’ve been neglecting the internet this week (I apologize to those of you whose blogs I typically camp) and instead have been spending time sending out query letters. Uh—huh! Randi finally got off her lazy behind and began the submission process. I’m sending submissions to agents who accept emails first and will move on to those who require physical submissions later on. As worried as I was about sending out queries, I’m actually having fun! Hitting the send button is an invigorating feeling and I look forward to what results (but not what lack of results) I receive. Positive vibes that I’ll get a bite—we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
This is what I’ve decided: Lightbringer must go on a flash drive and that flash drive must be mailed to someone I trust so that I can delete it from my computer. This is because, if I leave it handy, I will go into revision number four, which will inevitably lead to revision number five, and so on. I’m already itching to restart chapter one again. Due to my constant need for perfection this novel will never be perfect and I will tweak it until the day I die. I know that I have to learn boundaries and when to stop—and I’m stopping here. Paige Lollie: expect a package in the mail.
This perfection problem is why there are always kinks in my monthly blog chain posts—imperfections that could easily be righted with a second revision. I limit myself to a twenty minute time span in which to finish these chain posts, which does not leave much time for editing. If I do not do this I’d be spending all month every month writing the things. I also do not give my weekly blog posts a once over for this reason. What spits out of my head at the current moment is what you get. Call it my form of therapy, I s’pose.
People say that you shouldn’t start on a sequel until an agent has had his/her way with your novel because they may hack away and change many things, interrupting your original game plan. I probably should have taken this advice sixteen chapters into Flip Side ago. However, I didn’t, and am halfway finished with the first draft. I see it this way: even if I have to change the whole stinking thing I’m having fun writing it—I’m actively working on a hobby I love—I’m happy—and I’m practicing my writing. The more you write the better you get, yes? Yes.
Came across someone who asked me for a critique and then threw a fit when I gave them some advice.
“Are you saying my writing isn’t good enough?”
This response drives me insane and is the time tested calling-card of a novice. What would you have me do, tell you your work smells of roses? Fluff you up when there are obviously ways in which you can improve? Feedback is not, not, not an insult! It is a constructive way of trying to make one better. I believe all writers are good at what they do—but I also believe that, unless you’re Hemmingway or Melville, you (and I) can always, always improve. And you know what? Read Melville’s Omoo, then read Moby Dick. He improved leagues between these two novels. Even the masters continue to work on mastering their craft. You and I should, too.
So that’s my week: enraging screens of blue; query letters; feedback-backtalk. What have you been up to, friends? Anything new and exciting? As always, thanks for reading my humble words and thanks for being there to write to.
Until next time!